Yesterday I completed, at last, my Qualifying Cross Country, or QXC. I left Old Sarum around 12:45, in time to arrive in Goodwood for lunch… which was excellent news.
The weather could not have been better, the sky was azure blue the breeze was light and the temperature decidedly tropical. Ok sweaty would be a better description, really, horribly, stick to the seat beads down your back rotting in your own fluids kind of sweaty. Small, basic aircraft don’t have air conditioning. When GBFNK rolled off the production line I was 11 and “standard equipment” back then was almost stone-age, quite frankly I’m surprised the wheels are not made from stone… but I couldn’t care less. It was a brilliant day, epic in-fact. I flew, with only a few small ‘encounters’ all over the beautiful English countryside, from Old Sarum to Goodwood, then to Kemble in the Cotswolds and back, via Frome to Old Sarum. From 3000 feet, we really do live in a picture post card beautiful place. On my return leg, I could see all the way to the Isle of Wight in front of me, to the southern coast of Wales to my right.
So what would make a picnic, perfect? When that picnic is taken on the wing of an aircraft that you have flown somewhere, just for the sheer joy of it… and I have done just that. I ate my sarnies sat on the sun-deck (otherwise known as the right wing) of the plane mid way round my cross country tour and it was wonderful. A co-op chicken sandwich has never tasted so good.
Two big steps to take, one of which is the planning exam, the other, my skills test. Both of which are giving me butterflies just thinking about it…